If Charlie Benenate knows anything—and he knows quite a bit, mind you—it's who's legit behind the kit. And in a new conversation with BraveWords in promotion of Anthrax's forthcoming 40th Anniversary live LP, Anthrax XL, Benante dropped this pearl of wisdom, straight from from mouth of a pro.
"[W]hat [Neil Peart] did for other drummers, he would show that it's not all about the singer or the guitar player, it's also about that guy in the back right there, that people are taking notice to," Benante told BraveWords, "I mean, let's face it, between Neil and [Genesis'] Phil Collins, they invented air drumming. There's no way that you can sit and watch Rush and not, when that part comes up, you can't help doing the fills. I mean, at a Rush show, you'll see a lot of drummers just doing the fills. But Neil did so much for drumming, and I think a lot of other drummers understand and appreciate him for that."
The inclusion of Collins here definitely brings a smile to this discourse peddler's face. Sure, Phil would be in the Air Drumming Hall of Fame (were there such an institution) for the iconic fill on his 1981 solo smash "In the Air Tonight." But too often, his vocal contributions to Genesis overshadow his work on the drums. Peart, of course, is a legend and an unparalleled inspiration to musicians across the globe.
Since we're on the topic, here's a few Anthrax tracks chock full of Charlie's own memorable, air-drumming worthy moments behind the kit, including a blistering live version of "Indians" from the Kings of Scotland DVD, and "Aftershock" from the forthcoming live LP, Anthrax XL, taken from the band's 40th anniversary livestream.